Friday, July 26, 2013

Crocodile Creek

Every time we pass a small (and I mean SMALL) stream of water outside, Niall is obsessed with looking for the crocodile that obviously has to be lurking around somewhere in there.  Our new house butts up against Rock Creek Trail, which is great for running, but apparently also great for exploring and crocodile hunting. 

We discovered the best part of the creek a few weeks ago, with a little side trail leading down to a "beach" with plenty of room for them to run around... but I haven't had time to stop in the middle of my run and let them play down there. 

Every time we would run by it, I would promise myself (and the kids) that we would come back soon.  And so we finally did.


I think I wanted to go down there just as much as they did, because it reminded me so much of the places I would play when I was little.  My friend and I would wander off through the forests in our back yards until we didn't even know where we were anymore, looking for any secret fort or hidden stream that we could play in. 

It makes me sad to think my kids won't be able to do that because of the world we live in today.  But as long as they are still willing to play with boring old mom here, they will be able to explore places like this as much as they want.

'How do you know that's not sewage water?', you might be asking yourself right about now.  And to that, my answer would be "I don't."  When I told Matt that we were playing down there, he paused for a second and then muttered something about it being gross 20 years ago when he was playing down there... but hey, that's what baths are for, right?

We were mostly skipping stones and catching butterflies anyway.  It's not like they were swimming in it-- well, at least not past their knees :)

Niall was a good helper, showing Brendan how to find the best stones for skipping (well, umm, that's not really flat or circular, but great job!).

He is definitely a good throwing coach, though.


B listened carefully to all of Niall's tips and instructions, looking for his own skipping stones and chucking them into the stream.

Niall is also quite the insect whisperer.  Bugs of all kinds just seem to gravitate toward him (maybe the lack of insect repellent).  But I was especially impressed that he managed to lift one of these guys up without scaring him away.


I loved Niall's words of wisdom as we were walking along the edge of the creek: "Mom, if we see a crocodile in here.... we should probably get out."  Which was quickly followed up with the worst advice in history: "But if it's a gentle crocodile, we should stay and pet it."  Well said, my son.  He knows a gentle crocodile when he sees one :)

To many more adventures...

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Friday, July 19, 2013


My new addiction to coffee is kind of a funny one.  I never drank it until after Niall was born, which is probably normal for a lot of people... but instead of using it to wake myself up the morning after a long sleepless night, I was drinking decaf... at 10:30 in the morning.  Me and caffeine are really not a good mix, so really, what's the point of drinking decaf anyway?  I don't know.

I guess it just became this social thing.  Everyone was drinking their coffees at the park and at each others' houses and it was just this fun treat to look forward to every day.  But it took me a while to like the taste of straight up coffee.  I started with caramel macchiatos and pumpkin lattes (luckily it was mostly the 7-11 version or I might have blown through our entire life savings in a year) ... and after a good year or two of working up the courage, I moved on to plain decaf coffee with a little bit of flavored creamer.  Just in the last 6 months or so, I have graduated to just a little half-n-half; no sugar at all. But no matter what, now I just HAVE to have my grande iced decaf every day ;)

The reason I'm telling you all of these insignificant details of my [obviously very exciting] life is because I'm having trouble understanding something about my children:

If it took me 3 years to like the taste of coffee, how can they be so obsessed at an age where a sugar-less treat would typically be thrown back in my face?  They will forcibly grab my cup out of my hands and try, with all their might, to chug it before I can steal it back.  That is a picture of Niall at around 18 months, and guess who decided to recently hop on the bandwagon with a vengeance?

This kid just started talking last month and he will yell at the lady behind the counter at Dunkin Donuts "Offee!  Offee!", making me look like a complete deadbeat mom.  Then, Niall chimes in with "I want a sip, too!"  Thanks guys.

I made the mistake of giving in to their whining one time when they were hanging all over me to get to my iced coffee.  I thought, for sure, that giving them a sip would confirm my theory that they would absolutely hate it and would finally leave me alone.  I had envisioned them making a face similar to, oh, I don't know, biting into a lemon... not biting into a piece of birthday cake.  I was in a full on game of tug-of-war in the middle of Target with Brendan kicking and screaming for more.

At least, when I had given Niall a sip those couple of years ago, it was something that actually tasted good and made sense that he would like it-- which is why I gave him the LAST sip so that he couldn't bother me anymore.  But the fact that both of them enjoy plain coffee is just so strange (and annoying!).  So occasionally, if I am making my iced coffee at home, I will pour Brendan a cup of ice with almond milk and a splash of my decaf so that he feels like he's drinking his "offee" with me.  But I have to go through the motions like I am making him a real cup of coffee the same way as mine, or he will detect that it's a hoax.  Looks like I have a couple of jitter-bugs on my hands.  What have I gotten myself into :(

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back to the Grind

Well, life is finally back to normal around here, and it feels pretty good. It has been almost a month that we have been living away from our new house-- about the same amount of time we had lived in it.  I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we got everything back into place and running like new again. But I have to admit, I am really going to miss this on a daily basis...

I've been to the bay hundreds of time, but when you stay down  there for a good chunk of time, you discover fun things that you wouldn't normally have thought to do.  We picked and rode, rode and picked... and it just never got old.

With the apples, we made pie.  Niall used the special machine to make "green anaconda peels."

And with the corn, well, it wasn't quite ready to be picked yet.  So we decided to move on and just enjoy our walk and wagon ride through the fields (probably a good idea, considering we are not supposed to pick the corn).  Maybe we will sneak one more ear at the end of the season when it is good and ready-- just for educational purposes ;)

We could have prepared an entire meal with just the things we found outside; especially with Niall's special outdoorsman skills...

He learned from the best, so I can't give him all the credit.

Niall and his great uncle, John

But I think what I might miss the most is watching a storm come over the bay.  There's just nothing like it.  You can look out one window of the house and the sun will be shining bright, while the other side is completely dark and ominous looking.  Then you see the rain coming over the water long before it even gets to you. 

 Then top it off with a gorgeous rainbow.  That's my kinda day.

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